Significant Scholarship

Students share their research project at Bradley's annual Student Scholarship Expo. (Photo by Duane Zehr)

Matt Hawkins
April 17, 2017

Bradley students showed off fruits of their research labors at the 2017 Student Scholarship Expo. Sponsored by the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning, the event highlighted 185 projects from the University’s five colleges and graduate school.

Katie Eckhoff ’17, a biology-ecology and evolution major from Tremont, Illinois, challenged herself with three project submissions. In an Expo first, two of her works tied for Expo’s top honor, the Undergraduate President’s Award. One of her winning studies analyzed changing attitudes toward genome editing. The other analyzed nitrogen runoff in wetlands.

She will pursue a doctorate biology degree after graduation and credited her future to experiences such as Expo.

“I took advantage of every opportunity I had, including research,” she said. “Expo gives you a lot of exposure. Working on projects make you understand what you’re doing and how to explain things from the start.”

Expo challenged students to present their research to audiences outside their academic comfort zone. Presentations helped students develop valuable communication skills as they worked on their academic passions.

“It’s humbling to see students’ work because our students are phenomenal,” said OSP Director Sandra Shumaker. “Our students gain an edge as they go into professional environments because of what they learned through Expo preparation.”

Web and application design major Kevin Mikolajczak ’18, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, turned a classroom project into a professional breakthrough for TrinixCreative, a web design and marketing firm he co-founded. He designed software to enhance nonprofit organizations’ ability to connect to donors.

The software earned Expo’s Undergraduate Provost’s Award.

For him, Expo provided a platform to show how interactive media degrees can be used beyond videogames and the silver screen.

“It’s nice to show my professional work because it shows I can apply classroom knowledge to my outside experience and make a useful product,” he said. “Interactive media is more than fun and games. We do a lot of things industries use.”